When We Stop to Smell the Flowers

I’ve received a lot of feedback in the last week about my writing and blog in general. According to the site statistics and messages I’ve received from readers, the letter to my mom on her birthday was the most well-received. So I’ve decided today to share another, more recent story about the woman who helped mold me into the man I am today. Despite the circumstances, I got to spend a lot of time with my mom over the weekend as the two of us awaited our results in self-imposed quarantine. The opportunity to reconnect with the people we love is one that many of us are sharing as we wait out Covid from the safety of our homes. 

When I first came back home in March, I had believed my mom and I were close. We saw each other often and tried to spend our free time in each other’s company. But with our work schedules, hobbies, and other unavoidable commitments, I realized that those times, although wonderful, were fleeting. But when we both put ourselves under house arrest to avoid potentially spreading the disease, it was a nice change to have two full days spent in each other’s constant company.

I learned a lot about my mom during those two days. I heard new stories about the way she had spent her youth, about her relationships in high school and the pranks she would pull on my Grandpa. I was reminded of the way that she laughed at odd moments, switching between imparting profound nuggets of wisdom to telling me the heartbreaking story of Beau and David Cassidy at the drop of a hat. I learned a lesson in the simplicity of self-soothing, of holding anxiety at bay by listing out every possible blessing I had in my life, from the concrete to the intangible. 

I spent a few hours with her in the car, eating soup as rain poured onto the windshield like buckets. We talked about our hopes, our personal dreams, our trials, and our personal downfalls. It was a conversation I will remember as one that moved my mom from the realm of “mother” to the one of a regular “person.” It was new and refreshing to realize my mom was a person just like me, with hopes and aspirations that existed outside the realm of hearth and home. But when we sat on the couch that afternoon, watching Shrek on the television, the memories of days spent as a child came rushing back to comfort me. For those who haven’t in a while, I would recommend watching Shrek to all ages. Like fine wine or cheese, the movie only improves with age, as the jokes once missed as a child now crack me up as an adult.

If I told you that I was waiting anxiously for my Covid results during those two days, I would be lying. Instead, they were spent in good company, laughing and learning to appreciate the world in new ways. The relationships we form, both familial and friend, have an astounding way of doing that to you. If we only take the time to slow down, we can find something new even in the ones that are as familiar as our own heartbeat. It pleases me to say that my relationship with my mom is not unique: it is a legacy passed down from her and her father, a relationship filled with as much love, laughter, and silent understanding as the one she and I now share. It is hard to face a reality like the one my mom lives in now, where there will be a day in the future that I will cease to laugh with her or hear her voice. But until that day, I will try to enjoy every second of the beautiful relationships that I have. So from friends to family to special connections, love every single minute. No one knows how many each of us have left.

Stay safe and hopeful! 

One thought on “When We Stop to Smell the Flowers

  1. You astonish me. I am moved by your words, you teach me something everytime I am with you.
    Walk with God, all will be well.
    Stay hopeful.
    Love you to the moon and back


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